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Vasiliki Christouli

Published date
19 Jun 2018

Site-specific Arts as Exploration of Special and Temporal Limitations

Camberwell College of Arts

The thesis of this research will be an investigation on the way the site specific art and its place are momentarily articulated one in the other and an exploration of the way time articulates itself on the space proposed by the work.

Four site-specific works of art, will be examined for their capacity to provide intimacies based on ruptures of time and space providing the viewer opportunities of reflecting on her/himself and communicating with the others: a. 'In Site Compression' 2007, b. ‘Seven Windows Divided by Two’ 2004, c: ‘Central Corridor 2003 (images5-8), and d. a new one, which will be installed on October 2013 in The Institute of Greek Art in Athens.

By embracing the theories of phenomenology and in particular the perspective of Merleau-Ponty (2002) who's important claim is that perception involves the whole body and is dependent on the perceiving subject and the circumstances of the present moment that determine how and what is what is perceived, I will try to theorize the aesthetic experience offered by the site-specific work of art.

Site-specific works of other artists in the history of site-specific art (as this can be approached by focusing on the multiple interpretations of the term site or on the type of experience that the works structure to the viewer), will be analysed further insisting on the importance of the physical immersion of the viewer into the work's space and the intensity of their sensory perception by her/him.

I will argue about the way that the spatial relationships raised by the site-specific work of art constitute the spatial framework for a) the creation of a new object, the viewer's consciousness as a subject, and b) the loss of the visitor's sense of certainty and her/his experience of being decentred caused by the disorienting environment of the work and its multiperspectivalism which is opposed to the rigidity of seeing things from one point of view.

The ephemeral life of the site-specific work of art and the specific equilibrium of temporal relationships raised by it, will be argued to constitute the temporal bounds within which the temporality of the viewer meets the temporality of the work and the others.

Using theories of postmodern urban spatial theory that argue about the disappearance of the uniqueness of places, I will focus on the role of site- specific art in providing a space that has a differential function against this homogenization of places and the sense of placelesseness in contemporary life.

Finally, I will investigate how the interrelationship of object, context, and the viewer as this is raised by the site-specific work defines its role in the present techno cultural environment where digital information is ubiquitously overlaid on tangible physical reality.


Dr Michael Asbury

David Cross